Hoten Holler!


November 1, 2016

Siding, Plumbing and Wiring….Oh My!

26 October 2016, Sunny and high of 69°F

It has been awhile since we posted anything, again, lack of internet makes it difficult to communicate from the bunker!  We are still in the camper but we are seeing some good progress on the house.

Here are some pictures of the siding.  It is called LP Smartside in Canyon. We had a tough time picking out the color, as we had boxes of samples to look at.  We spent some time driving around and looking at houses, holding the little sample up from a distance and trying to determine what color we liked and what it would look like on a large structure.  One day in Custer, we drove by a beautiful house and Dave and I both loved it immediately.  We thought, “What the heck?”  and went to the door and said, “Excuse us, but would you mind telling us what type/color is the siding on your house?”  The lady there was very accommodating and proud of her beautiful home and gave us the name of the company where she had bought the siding.  We called them and told them her address and got the specs on the type, color, etc.

The west facing deck timber frames are up, as well as the front porch.

GENPRO came out and wired the house for electricity.  Martin the plumber came and put in the pipes for the water.

Dave and I finally painted the cistern.  The hardest part was climbing down in the hole, but once inside it wasn’t too claustrophobia inducing.  The fumes were not bad and we got two coats of sealant on in two days. 

We cleared the rubble around the area where the outbuilding will go.  Dave and I started to do it with shovels and realized it would probably take us until 2017.  We decided the skid steer was the way to go.

We have also been limbing trees and dragging slash.  By cutting the limbs on the bottom of the Ponderosa Pine trees, you ensure they can grow taller and stay healthier.  We have quite a few trees that have never been pruned so Dave went to work with his chainsaw and I went to work dragging the limbs into piles.  We will eventually haul all the piles to one area and burn the slash.  The rule in our county is that you cannot burn big slash piles until you have four inches of snow on the ground for four days or longer.  I’m hoping that will be after we get into the house!

We are having a spectacular autumn as far as weather goes.  For all of you Floridians, it was warmer here  than in Milton yesterday morning!! Ha ha….I need to get my digs in about the weather while I can.

We’re closer to Pringle than Custer….and warmer than Milton, Mount Airy, and Eagan!!  Ha ha!


EEK! A Mouse!!!


25 October 2016, Partly cloudy with highs in the lower 60’s

Anyone that has ever lived in the country can attest to the problem of unwanted houseguests…aka…mice.  I thought we could preempt this problem by doing some research.  I read on the internet (so it must be true!) that Irish Spring soap will keep mice at bay.  I put an open bar of the stinky green soap in every compartment I felt could be compromised, and all summer we never had a problem. We also had the to live with the pungent odor of the Irish Spring.  Every time Dave would open the storage compartment he would say, “Smells like a leprechaun in here!”

Shortly after moving out of the campground and away from civilization, we began hearing little scratching noises at night.  Sure enough, we found a hole where the sink water pipe exits the camper and there was definite evidence of intruders! To add insult to injury, we went around and looked at all the bars of Irish Spring and every one had little teeth marks in them; clearly mice think Irish Spring is a delicacy!

That night we loaded up a mouse trap and caught the culprit.  We sealed up the hole with some screen and felt that we had solved our problem.  Several weeks later, more scratching and more evidence of mice!  We found another hole where the heater enters the camper and sealed that one with screen as well.  We also threw a trap in there for good measure and we have caught more than one mouse.

We have tried peppermint packets as deterrent.  These also ended up with little teeth marks….hmmmm. We tried dryer sheets, but haven’t seen any effect.  At least the mice we catch smell Downy Fresh! The problem is likely due to the following:

1.        We live in the country – all neighbors here say this is just part of country living.

2.       We have surrounded the camper with hay bales for insulation – what could be more inviting for mice?

3.       No cat – this will change when we have a real house. 

We definitely appreciate all the feedback on the blog.  We got some interesting advice about picking out commodes!  Again, we are soliciting any suggestions about keeping the mice away!


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